Last year in October we discovered the small State Park Campground of Guilford Lake State Park. We just spent one night and I have always wanted to go back to camp in a site right on the lake. That is where Loren and Mike scheduled their 8th Anniversary rally this year! And here we are, all set at 1:30 in the afternoon, Wednesday, September 26 in a prime lake-front spot – waiting for others to join us. We were on a nice arm of the lake, and across the water from us were some picturesque, private, cottages. Around us were tall trees, lots of grass, and a good view of most of the campground.
As we set up on site #17, a 30’ Silver Classic rolled past and pulled in down the road from us. Other arrivals popped up during the afternoon, and by dinner-time we had a nice selection of trailers . . . and people . . . all within our view.
Before this gathering Suzie and I had had concocted an idea to set up a make-shift playpen for our puppies – so they could play free of those tangling leashes! We used 10 tall shepherd’s hooks, a big roll of orange plastic fencing, and lots of zip-ties and set up a rough circle and secured it – success!
This time of year, darkness moves in early – even with a full moon. By 8:00 we were gathered around a fire, enjoying a couple hours of campground comradeship before bedtime.
Thursday, Sept 27
Today saw more arrivals trickle in, including Loren & Mike and the kids . . . our rally hosts. There was some nice meet and greets, crafting time around the picnic table (pine-needle basket-making, crocheting and button-flower vases) and general mixing and mingling. There was also some sidewalk chalk-art going on! For Tom, Charlie, and Jasper and John, Penelope, and Rupert there was a long walk around the lake front.
Enjoy these pictures of Lou and her grandkids -- El & Conner. It was fun to have little ones around the campsite.
Dinner was at Mark’s Landing, just 3 miles around and on the other side of the lake. Since 1946 the restaurant has been where the locals gather to enjoy a varied menu --heavy on the seafood offerings. There was indoor dining and beautiful outdoor dining, and we had a private room overlooking Guilford Lake. Great choice, Loren! We returned just as a light (and unexpected) drizzle popped up, and that squelched any ideas for an evening campfire! It was an early night in the Silvermine – just my thing!
Friday, Sept 28
By 3:00 a.m. the rain was over and from the very start the day was shaping up to be perfect. By 8:00 Larry, Tom and John had the grills fired up and ready for breakfast. We all had been invited to bring our food over to cook on the griddle, and a slow convoy of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hash browns and other breakfast foods began to appear. . . and disappear as the campers woke up!
This breakfast gathering was repeated on Saturday morning . . . nothing makes a great social gathering like a big breakfast jamboree. Here are some casual pictures from both mornings that prove it!
Georgia and Rick had left for an early morning paddle in their inflatable kayak, and made it back just as the griddle was shutting down!
A small group made a quick run into town for bait and fishing licenses. Tom had his dad’s 1941 fly fishing rod, and this was his first good opportunity to try it out since he had refurbished it. The setting was perfect for fishing as we all had private docks behind our campsites up and down the lake!
At 1:00 a pontoon boat pulled up to a dock behind or campers and 15 of us loaded on for Captain Larry’s lake tour along the shoreline of Guilford Lake. After an hour the boat put in for a potty break, to shuffle passengers, and to head back out for another cruise. By this time the temperature was almost 70, the sky was blue, and the wind was very light – perfect weather both on the shore and on the lake. You can tell by these pictures that the pontoon boat was a great success!
Several more Airstreams arrived in the afternoon, making a weekend total of: 12 Airstreams, A Coleman Camper, a JayFlight . . . 29 adults, 6 kids (toddler to teenage), and 12 fur-babies. The evening was the traditional beans & wieners gathering, with a whole lot of side dishes. As the dark moved there was a large circle around a campfire!.
Saturday, Sept 29
Early morning fires popped up as those cooking chili outside got busy on the chili cook-off challenge. At the same time the threesome of Larry, Tom and John were back on for breakfast. Chili turn-in deadline was 11:30, followed by chili judging . . . there were over 12 entries! Loren runs the chili tasting/voting efficiently and quickly, and passes the trophy off to the year’s winner. Next was lunch -- can you guess what was for lunch??
Loren set out her annual raffle frenzy, sold tickets, and dispersed the items ticket by winning ticket. I have come to learn that some of those items will end up back in the drawing pile next year . . . but not my prize-winning , glass, flamingo cutting board! Mike and Loren do an excellent job with the raffle, using the revenues to pay for rally costs (pontoon boat!), and then issuing the left-over money back as the final prizes! Win-Win for everyone, and NO RALLY FEE!
The final event was the potluck dinner – always a smorgasbord of everyone’s favorite camping foods.
John had a little surprise for the football fanatics – he set up an outdoor theater complete with satellite and big TV, beside an outdoor fire ring! I can tell you where Tom sat from 4:00 until midnight – first the Michigan game, and then the Buckeyes. Thank goodness the Buckeyes were able to pull off a win at the last minute . . . and Tom didn’t have to come to bed UGLY!
This was a such a enjoyable rally – Loren and Mike have the plan, schedule, and execution down to a science, and 8 years of practice helps in pulling off a smooth event. Loren says she is looking for location recommendations for next year!
Tom and I again have a three-day turnaround as we prepare for hosting the “Bring It On Home To Mama” rally at the Mothership in Jackson Center later this week!
Where would you have a big mile-stone birthday party? Morgan’s Campground and Canoe Livery, of course. This was the scene where Carie hosted her 50th birthday party. There was a final total of 6 Airstreams and one T@B -- 13 camping people for the weekend, and Carie’s work friends, other friends, and family on Saturday.
Our silver quarters lined up along-side the Little Miami River in the first three campsites - where we were able to share 3 sites . . . and 110 electricity! A little silver TAB joined at the end of the line beside their own private gazebo!
As usual, we had plenty of 4-legged friends along for the ride . . . 6 dogs, and one special kitty, Shamus.
The weather turned hot and humid Wednesday thru Friday, and we waited patiently for a front to move through and bring cooler weather. Meanwhile, we went out to eat a few times and watched movies outdoors in the cooler evening temperatures. Finally on Friday it turned cold and rained moved into the area. Not to worry because the party took place Saturday in the large shelter-house where we were high and dry.
Suzie baked cakes at home and assembled, frosted, and decorated them in her Airstream . . . . extremely thankful for the weather cool-down so the cake wouldn’t melt! Did any Airstreamer EVER have such a great birthday camping cake?
Tom and I made beans for 40: 13 pounds pork/beans, 4 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds pineapple, 1 cup chili sauce, ½ cup mustard -- slow-cooked outside all morning. Carie provided the decorations and most of the rest of the food: hamburgers, hot dogs and a BIG variety of go-withs.
These pictures are just a sampling of the festivities. Needless to say it was a fun weekend at Morgan’s and a great celebration of Carie’s big Five-OH! Three days home, and then we're heading out for an Anniversary yearly observance!
Well – not quite our own backyard . . . . but very close! Our favorite Ohio State Park, Harrison Lake, is only 57 miles from us. With tall trees, lots of shade, and plenty of grass, it was a perfect setting for a little mid-week get-away! And, after 5 days of steady rain and cool temperatures – we were ready to do something to celebrate the next few days of sunshine and warmth.
We were in no rush Tuesday morning, and our only goal was to show up at the campground and set up in time for lunch. Although there were lots of empty campsites during the week-day, we still had to make sure that our chosen spot would not be occupied until Friday. Our favorite spot -- #118 – was available and we were all settled in and eating grilled sandwiches by 12:00!
Here are some shots of our campsite.
We took the dogs for a walk, and then hit the reclining chairs . . . with books! The reading led to a bit of napping, and the napping recharged us for a longer walk. That was the entire agenda for afternoon.
Here are a few pictures from our walks throughout the day.
Here are some pictures of our Jasper and Charlie enjoying the campground with us.
And the most important picture of all . . . relaxing in my "0-G" chair.
Wednesday was more of the same. Ditto for Thursday. I took pictures of the cabin and the Yurts, and a campground host gave us a tour of each. We took special notice of their accessibility for a future spring campout with Caleb and Halie – never too early to start planning for 2019!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown